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i fly out of raleigh international, it's an important airline to constituents. assistance economic booster for the triangle. it's important for the businesses there. >> -- [inaudible] [laughter] it's even finer than the memphis airport, i might add. brand new. newly built. how much is the overlap between american and u.s. air in the really raleigh market? >> we -- the overlap, i think is just on the washington, d.c., flight. american serves the hubs for raleigh we serve our hubs from there. i think the overlap is limited to the one flight. >> all right. and i noticed -- and the prices on american and u.s. airways are virtually the same flying out of
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raleigh occur ram to d.c. how much overlap do you have in charlotte. >> virtually zero. we have a very large connecting hub in charlotte. >> all right. i believe u.s. air serves d.c. out of charlotte, i think they are probably the carrier that has the most flights out of charlotte to d.c. what years years would you anticipate the price difference is from raleigh to d.c. and charlotte to d.c. is? >> i don't know. it sounds like you might know. [laughter] >> it costas lot more money to fly from charlotte to d.c. than raleigh to washington. that's concerning. it's very concerning. and you're direct competitors in a route from raleigh to washington where as u.s. airways it doesn't have a direct competitor, so it costs more
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money. that would certainly impact the folks who live in my congressional district. do you think, do you anticipate the fares would go up significantly in the future in raleigh to washington or not competing with one another? >> congressman, as we have said before, any discussion about fares or that sort of planning and strategy is something that is down the road for us. those are issues that will be discussing really with respect to fares and things like probably not until after the merger. >> what are the top three factors you would have under consideration when making the prices consideration in the future whether it's in this or another? >> the top three factors? demand, the cost of providing the service, the -- the opportunities to provide service
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over a hub. in other words, if we can -- as we can attract passengers to go to more places, then the original destination to hub it gives us an opportunity to operate more efficiently and provide more cost effective service. >> and the factor of whether or not you have a direct competitor in the market is not in the top three factors? >> we are in the airline industry is very competitive business. we compete and we compete in virtually every market that we operate. >> the american airlines operates a direct flight out of raleigh to london heathrow, that seems to be a popular flight. do you know if that's a profitable flight or unprofitable flight? >> congressman, i'm not aware whether it is or is not profitable. it's a service we've had for a number of years. as you know with the
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accommodation we have with the british airways in terms of our joint alliance, we have we offer tremendous service in to heathrow and elsewhere. i would hope the service you're referencing continues. i don't know about the profitability. >> is there any consideration of expanding the international flightses with the raleigh airplane that you know? >> one of the sphris about the -- one of the things about the industry we are looking at where we can expand our service. as i mentioned earlier, we have an aircraft order for a 500 aircraft that we did the summer before last. that allows us to replace expanding aircraft and our service. the networking people look at the tremendous amount of opportunity to the -- i don't know i'm happy to ask our folks to look to the particular question. and get back to you.
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and i tell you, it is not to take anything from the memphis airport, but memphis m.a. in fact have best ribs and that kind of thing, but you never have an experience like you will when you go through atlanta's hartsfield/jackson airport. >> that is true. >> the hospitality, the real southern hospitality, the ambiance, the warmth of the people, and the food. or everybody knows about pascal's fried chicken you can get at the airport. everybody knows about the teachers that come out of georgia and they go into the peach cobbler that melts right
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in your mouth and peanuts, pecans, coca-cola, it cannot compare, it is in comparable, weekly air on that issue, i love barbeque every once in a while but i eat some fried chicken every day. mr steven johnson -- stephen johnson, thank you for testifying today. i'm interested in the effects of this merger on union and nonunion employees. you indicated in your submitted testimony that the combination of these airlines will generate substantial net synergies and establish the financial foundation for a more stable company and better opportunities for our 100,000 employees.
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however, current and former employees may be concerned about how the merger will affect benefits such as their health care benefits in tensions. mr. johnson, how does the merger affect the benefits of current and former employees? >> i want to comment, the statement about atlanta has a lot to do with why most people considered delta of the most profitable and successful airline in the united states and that is one of the reasons we need to create a new network to compete with things like that so thank you very much for that. could i ask mr. kennedy this question? he is deeply involved. >> very well done, mr. johnson. first of all, with regard to current former employees, as to retiree, we are working through our bankruptcy and determining what will happen with retiree benefits. i will say that as we have with
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current employees, where we have changed the medical insurance benefits upon retirement we are seeking to do the same with regard to retiree employees, with regard to pensions, as you know we were successful in freezing our pension plans rather than terminating them and that is terrific for all employees because we will pay all of the benefits under our pension plans to our employees. we are not sending those obligations to the pbgc for payment -- we would freeze those plans rather than terminating and that is success out of this bankruptcy. >> thank you. do you see any changes to the basic benefits occurring in years to come? >> i don't know what will happen in future years, but
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particularly with union employees and nonunion employees when we structured our new contracts with our organized labor groups we did so in a way that would provide to the company productivity improvements but one also provide pay increases for our employees and we have six your contracts, we have work to do with this merger in terms of getting one contract among all the labor groups but we made substantial progress getting that finished and ready to go so i believe that some of the change with regard to the improvements are difficult, at that employees will benefit not only from the pay increase we have in place but as we go to airline in the future. >> mr. roth? >> it has agreed discussion, thank you for being here today. i live five miles from the greater pittsburgh airport. when pittsburgh lost its hub
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status ten years ago we dropped 500 plates to fewer than 50 and lost thousands of jobs in the process and world-class airport remains and utilized. it created an inconvenience for the travelling public in the business community not to have as many flights as we used to. currently we have 41 u.s. air flights and 15 american airlines flights out of greater pitt. can you give any assurance the number of flights will not be reduced? >> those are flights we operate to our respective home. they work well for both. i would anticipate the merger isn't going to change their service to pittsburgh materially in any way. i will say the people of pittsburgh will have some of vantages associated with those flights being combined on one carrier. they will be able to fly on line
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to more places and they will be able to execute frequent-flier miles on one airline instead of two and travel will be more convenient but i don't anticipate that it will change the air service in pittsburgh at all. >> has there been discussion about post merger changing hubs at all, moving hubs, consolidating hubs? >> just the opposite. we anticipate we are very happy with what we have, at geographically diverse, functionally divers, they all work for the separate airline so we anticipate they will be very successful after the merger. we don't anticipating adding any hubs. >> the hub the have, the new york area, jfk, la guardia, to philadelphia, there seems to be you always hear about overcrowding delays, leisure and
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travel magazine for example asked travelers to rank the worst airports in the country and the top three our la guardia, philadelphia and jfk and here we have not only underutilize airport in western pennsylvania that could serve as a hub, and i would ask the parties to consider that as you do your planning. moreover we have a recent drilling announcement that greater pittsburgh airport that will be a benefit or maybe a benefit to airlines to consider that so i ask you to consider that. you testified a little bit about some of the small and middle sized communities. i have some of those in my district. i am wondering if either of you might opine on expansion to the underserved communities that might result from this merger.
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>> if i could, we haven't done any of that planning yet and we won't be able to do any of that planning until we close the merger but one of the great opportunities in this merger is the complementary nature of the network. i mentioned in my opening remarks there are some 130 cities that american airlines serve that u.s. airways doesn't serve, 62 cities u.s. there raise fares that american airlines doesn't serve. when we make decisions about serving in the market particularly small and medium-sized markets there is an economic calculus we undertake and that economic calculus involves determining whether revenue potential is and subtracting if you will be projected costs. we look at news service, one of the big costs are developing infrastructure, recruiting and training employees, creating a marketing presence in the community. in pennsylvania where there are a number of communities u.s. there raise fares and american airlines doesn't serve that infrastructure exists, we have
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quality employees there already and a great marketing presence. those are great opportunities for expanding service from the american airlines hub of. >> we're looking for opportunities to expand like johnstown, pa.. related facilities at u.s. there currently at pittsburgh included operations center that employs 1500 people. old americans has operations center in dallas. what is the consideration for the operations centers for respective airlines and what can we expect happen to the operations under a greater put it? >> that is something we would have to discuss. we will operate separate airlines and to wicklow the merger but we will continue to operate separate airlines for 15 to 18 months. that will require two operations. during that period of time we will talk and plan and see what works in terms ultimately combining those operations centers or finding an alternative way to manage them.
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>> you are considering consolidation of the two at some point in the future? >> in general airlines operate from a central operating system, some for a -- central operating center and at some point in time once we complete emerge the airlines and their operations. >> we also have a maintenance center at greater pitt? any consideration on that? >> we have about a thousand maintenance employees engaged in heavy maintenance in pittsburgh. a very senior work force of reducing a little bit because of retirement of our great employees so we expect that to be 975 employees at the end of the year but it is a central part of our maintenance operation. we expect it to be not affected in any significant way by the merger but again, as we plan and look at the future, it is hard to say. >> have to -- consider taking a
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look at greater pitt. >> we are very close with your colleagues in the delegation and governor and friends in philadelphia have asked that we do that and i promise the next couple weeks to go to low myself and talk to civic leaders about these issues. >> question for dr. winston. >> actually -- >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. johnson, you brought up earlier the demand from your customers to have a lot larger network so you would be able to serve more of their needs and be competitive with larger carriers. where do you see the balance between having that large network internally versus having partnerships to meet those
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demands? >> we would always prefer to do it internally if we could. partnerships survey purpose that accomplishes something like a network is in perfect replication of the network can usually indicate that when there is some reason you can't create the network you want, usually national ownership rules of airlines and things like that, bilateral agreements between countries for international flying. those are the things that lead to partnerships and business arrangements because you can't under the law achieve the network you want to. >> when you look at after the merger do you intend to maintain the partnerships you have today? i will preface that with i am from the other side of the country from washington state and alaska, for example, a big carrier in our neck of the woods so the park bishops are very important. >> a very important partner of
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ours. again, as mr. johnson said, we have no idea what the network will look like after words but that partnership has been very important to was and is a great airline and i would hope that partnership would continue. >> mr. mitchell brought up the nbc earlier and i want to give a chance to give you -- to give your viewpoint on transparency and how you feel that would be impacted after the merger or distribute on nbc in general. >> perhaps i said this earlier and apologize if i did, we are strongly in favor of price transparency to consumers, very important and always has been and where we disagree is talking about whether or not there ought to be regulation or legislation that mandates how you need to provide that information. we don't think that is
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appropriate particularly with the advent of technological changes there is ways to get information to consumers than might be suggested otherwise. i am not familiar with the proposed regulation or measure that is referenced here, we will be happy to look at it and provide additional information. i am not familiar with it. >> and your concerns, mr. mitchell, about nbc are not specific to the merger. you have concerns generally. is that correct? >> they are specific to the merger because the merger will allow acceleration of nbc in the marketplace. u.s. airways has long been a maverick in distribution is. in 2001-2, when the airlines withheld web fares from travel agencies, they only provided them to orbits. usairways broke rank and began to provide fares to the
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marketplace. likewise in 2006. the big american swallowing up the mavericks u.s. there waste is only going to allow this to go forward more quickly. and once embedded in the largest market place in the world it is going to cascade across all the other markets. the problem is no publicly available fares and schedules will be available anymore. it kills transparency, get a deal crafted just for me and have nowhere to go to compare it publicly to see if i got really good deal at all. >> since you are the pricing expert, someone said that earlier, what do you think in terms of prices and competitiveness and ability for consumers to have transparency, what do you think the impact of the merger is on that? >> keep in mind there is something special about this industry. a small percentage of the people do a huge amount of the flying,
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something on the order of 5% or 6% of the travelers do 40% of the flying. it is absolutely ludicrous to think that's an airline will think a really good strategy for us is to not have a transparent prices for people who fly all the time who probably have these things memorized and all of a sudden one day they don't know what they are. talk about a way of alienating customers. i can imagine many strategies that are concocted all the time. i don't know where they come from but this is not how you make money in regular real businesses. i am certainly supportive of concerns about transparency but the nature of travel is that this would just be crazy to do and almost an embarrassment for anybody. an airline -- i would hope they would feel embarrassed for doing
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it. >> thank you. >> good afternoon,. let me begin by saying i support the merger but because the employees want it and because the gentleman sitting behind you in uniform took the time to be here, thank you for doing ad as well. i do have some concerns and my previous life was as a prosecutor. i asked short question and expect yes or no answer and if you have to follow up make it very brief. what is going to happen to consumer rates? what is going to happen to consumer rates? are they going to go up? >> no. >> are they going to go down? >> i don't know. dr. winston is the man who can best describe that. the studies show that not withstanding the earlier mergers we talked about today, there haven't been price increases of us sort that mr. mitchell suggests might happen here so i don't expect prices to go across
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the board. >> i did some private practice in my time and did mergers and acquisitions and whatever we call them, mergers, acquisitions, take overs, that is not important to me at this point. in my experience i am told they will reduce costs and several months later when i asked for the price, they said the price is down but the answer is we kept insane and prevented them from going up and several months later the prices went up. what is going to happen in the first six months? the first year, the first week 3 years about pricing? >> a couple things. one is we don't know what will happen. the airline industry as i mentioned is highly competitive business and with very thin margins and that is going to
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exist after the merger as it is today and that has an effect on pricing and what those levels are. i don't know what will happen. pricing will simply be competing on price and schedule in future as we do today. >> if i could just add, it will be a very competitive business. in many ways more competitive as we create an alternative for consumers, very large networks of delta and united, four big airlines each with less than 20% market share of the national network to serve some customers all competing with each other. two airlines that are very vigorous competitors on regional basis. alaska airlines, jetblue, fast-growing low-cost carriers to compete with us at various points around united states so very competitive industry and the competition isn't going to decrease as a result of the merger. >> i know the answer to this but with all due respect i have to answer it, i have to ask it.
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i am assuming there has been no back room deals someone in the near future will get whacked whether it is employees or pension or pilots? >> there have been none. that is correct. >> i live in the tenth congressional district of pennsylvania, north central pennsylvania. , doing on time? small airports, i have to drive to get to that, but to get to d.c. i have to take a plane to philadelphia to they see, takes over six hours when it is on time. i drive because it is 4.5 hours a new less-expensive. is anything going to improve for the smaller areas in which i live rather county is 1,000 people but people travelling to that from surrounding counties to catch the plane? >> i can't speak to your specific -- >> can you put it in writing and give it to me? >> i would be happy to. >> my favorite pet peeve, we all
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fly but there are certain reasons we have to change a flight and no matter who it is if i am changing a flight four five days in advance or find out that the last minute something is happening that i want to change the flight the price goes up substantially. by the same token when i called just happened to be six days ahead of time instead of seven days ahead of time the price doubles even though there are empty seats. can you explain to me, everyone awaits until the last moment that you have to come of with a better answer than that. >> sometimes consumers find that frustrating, but we offer a variety of products. we could sell you a ticket that is fully refundable and tickets that are non-refundable and in general up with the ticket that is not refundable and someone has to change it or seek a refund when we do is to charge what they would have paid for in non-refundable ticket, fully refundable ticket in general, that is how that works.
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>> does anyone wish to respond to any of my questions? i know i focused on that but quickly, i am running out of time or have run out of time. would you like to put it in writing and get it to me please? thank you. >> thank you. mr. garcia. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i want to turn your attention from the delights of memphis or the incredible southern hospitality to the most southern air force in our country which is miami international airport. as you and mr. kennedy know we have a huge debt service at the airport and part of the was making sure we had one of the best terminals for american airlines. do you feel we are going to cut any flights or we're going to increase traffic and held out? >> i don't know specifically what we will do in the future in miami, but i need you to be a little more specific because this is not memphis and this is not a small regional airport but
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this is the crown jewel of international flying to latin america which i assume was one of a reason this becomes an interesting targets. i want a specific answer because in my community we are leveraged to the hill because of this airport and i am committed to this process going forward but i want to understand what impact will have on my community. >> i am happy to be as specific as i can. american airlines is committed to miami and we have been for many years. it is as you know a tremendous gateway, not only terrific traffic in miami but also going south into latin america and it is something a priced part of our operation. i cannot specifically say what will happen in the future but if you look at the history of the last ten years we have grown our operations significantly and we were a major proponent of the
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development of that airport. in my previous job at american ran real-estate and construction business so that is what we're talking about in the debt load in miami but also understand that airport is a first-class airport, the new terminals are absolutely absolutely fantastic and we remain committed -- >> dozens smell like ribs. >> no doesn't but it is a terrific airport and we appreciate everything we do in miami is wonderful. >> we had secretary judge andrew napolitano there last weekend i appreciated the american airlines representative, the biggest carrier at the airport so it is important there participation, one of the problems as you well know is with a huge number of passengers on connecting flights were worried about the sequestration and the impact that will have, 40,000 people missed connecting flights on a monthly basis because of the border and customs agents. we just don't have enough of
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them. we build one of the largest reception centers in the country and can only -- we can't fully staffed it during peak times because there are not enough workers. one of the things we propose put this a kerri who seemed willing to listen is the ability of us picking up some of the costs. .. >> we would be more than happy to work with you to see if that is something we should do.
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>> if you could get back to me on that, because it's certainly something that i know it would probably be a lot cheaper to pay overtime and not have come in the, 100 passengers or 50 passengers missed a flight every few hours because of, i'm sure my colleagues on the other side would call it government in efficiency -- government inefficiency. i call at maximum capacity. but having a help us with that i think is key to continuing our growth. i think we the growth of 17% last year so we are very proud of that, and we are proud we don't smell like ribs either. it's cuban coffee. just one final question. terms of as you look at size, clearly want to be more competitive, clearly you want to offer more to our airport is one of those throughput places. do you think we are going to get more folks in south florida working for you, or do you think we will reduce workforce?
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>> well -- >> because we have been increasing and i just -- >> i can say just a go mr. kennedy's comments, people at u.s. airways are very excited about miami and very excited about adding that to the us airways network. and, in fact, there's some 35 cities just an east coast alone where u.s. airways has surfaced that are not sure fo from miami. all those are opportunities to look at. >> [inaudible] >> i spent a lot of time in miami. i agree it's a great place. i think you should be optimistic about miami's future. it is a critical part of the operations, latin america, south america in particular will be one of the fastest growing parts of the global economy. and the new american airlines is very well placed to take events of the. there is no better place in miami. i would be optimistic. >> all right. thank you. thank you very much. thank you, mr. chairman.
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>> thank you. mr. jeffries. >> thank you, mr. chairman. the american airline industry is certainly extremely critical to our economy, to our commerce, ability to keep families together, social network, educational infrastructure by any measure the airline industry is critical. an important part of who we are. i think all of us, certainly the american public, want to see the industry succeed, the success of them be able to offer competitive rates and transport people it -- to their desired destination. but experience that i think the industry had over the last 35 years paints a very different story, or a very troubling story, just when you consider the raw numbers but i gather there have been 160 bankruptcies
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since 1978. u.s. area has experienced to in the last decade. american airlines is coming out of bankruptcy. part of the response seems to have been the mergers were now looking at our third significant mergers in the last five years. i think there's bankruptcy to take and we may soon be experiencing merger fatigue, but i would be interested in getting either of the two airline representatives perspective on why, over the last 35 years, as the industry struggles to such a degree? and what confidence can you convey to us that this merger is part of the solution, as opposed to simply another band-aid on what has been a persistent wounded that we've seen over the last 35 years? >> you're correct in your assessment of the industry. it is one that has been fraught
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with difficulty. it's a volatile industry. it is one so vitally important. and so we have, there's number of measures that affect the industry, whether it's high fuel prices, whether it is problems overseas with different, stability of governments, even problems, then the, sort of disease and such affect our industry and the demand for a travel. and so that's not going to go away, but what it does mean i think for not only our companies but also for this country is we need to have a strong airline industry. not only to be able to service our own country but also compete against the other major international airlines. and so to answer your question, i believe that this merger, while not solving those external factors that so much affect our industry, but having a healthy carrier and a healthy industry, this will help us be stronger and be able to compete and be
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able to withstand some of those external shocks that affect our outside control. >> i mean, it really has been a very fascinating 35 years, particularly the last 10 have been very difficult as we lurched from crisis to crisis. the airline industry is i think finally becoming more stable, and as mr. kennedy points out, that's a really good thing. we have finally got ourselves i think the point to where we have, to earn a fair return on our investment, to invest in new routes and improve service, provide good pay and job security for our employees. we over the course of last decade i think we destroyed 160,000 jobs, or something like that in our industry. and during the decade we closed something like a dozen hubs. i think they've all been mentioned here today. but we have finally got ourselves to a point where we continue to pay, where we
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compare and create advancement opportunities for them, allow them to be more comfortable, having a career in the airline industry. and we've got myself to the point as an industry where we can make commitments to hubs like we've made today, and feel comfortable that we're going to be up to provide a service to continue to grow it. but most importantly, what this is allowed airlines to do is become more competitive, to be more stable and, therefore, to be more competitive, to provide more choice to the customers, provide more products to customers, more innovation to customers both in the united states and around the world. >> these external shocks to the system, whether fluctuating oil prices, or a tax, a even think doc -- i even think sequestration was mentioned by dr. winston. you say what's more is the industry to -- the capability to match capacity with demand, and you indicated that in your view, mergers would better enable
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these two companies, and i gather anyone in the industry, to do that in a more effective and efficient way. there seems to be based on the notion that the bigger the company, the better it's able to deal with matching capacity with demand. now, that seems to be a too big to fail theory, and we've had some experience in that regard in other areas. but i wanted to give an opportunity, one, to indicate why you think mergers will put these companies in a better position, and also if you could reference some of the other tools that are available that you indicated in your testimony, to enable companies perhaps aside from the merger to match capacity and demand. >> are you asking me? all right, the key thing in matching capacity with demand isn't optimal network. what you have to understand is
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that for 40 years, airlines did not have -- they had a sub optimal network. that is, they were regulated from 1938-78, okay? and they were not allowed to enter new routes if they wanted to, difficult even to exit routes. so they start off way behind in a very bad network, all right? so it's not an accident that southwest had advantages, because they were not a legacy carrier where interstate, and were able to develop the network from scratch so speak, in a better position under the regulation, the other carriers. so really what we are observing, believe it or not is still the development of an optimal network, okay, subject to a lot of shocks. doesn't necessarily mean that bigger is better, but given where you were it often is to the extent that you can balance
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traffic in particular areas, coordinate the traffic better, and move your fleet around as appropriate in response to changes in macroeconomic conditions. now, of course, the best tool is also going to be pricing, right click you want to fill up your plan, you lower your prices. you have hygiene and compare not going to have to do that. so the combination with pricing, improve service. all things that will help generate demand, at the same time that you the freedom and flexibility to have a network with a fleet that is aligned with that network, that gets you optimization in terms of your operations and what your carrier is capable of doing. to the extent that the merger is a tool in creating the optimal network, that is commute some of your network develop but it would be a lot better if you have another part of it included with your network, balancing traffic flows, or donating operations, so and so forth,
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that's where the mergers can help. but let me stress that this is something that takes a long time to achieve properly. the carriers just don't come together and that's it. they start then pruning the network if you want is a very clear example, look at the railroad industry. that whole industry has completely transformed. the state-of-the-art of the world where it was close to liquidation, because it was deregulated and did a lot of restructuring, but in its own way the airlines are trying to do similar thing. and mergers are a tool. not the only tool. they don't always work brilliantly, but that's what they are really about. >> thank you. >> thank you. we're going to go with a second round with mr. cohen and i, so we have about 10 minutes left. by anybody in the audience he needs to take a break now, go ahead. mr. winston, you're absolutely right, the regulations almost put the railroads out of
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business, and deregulation save them and we are seen continuous innovation. in the rail industry. and it was capital starved. and was not able to generate enough profit to maintain its infrastructure. and so that brings me really to my first question, to mr. johnston or mr. kennedy. you're going to realize changes, in efficiency and operating structure of how many of, a billion and a half, a billion, billion and after is that the numbers? >> we announced more than a billion dollars. those synergies on a gross basis if you will are larger than that, but the creation of
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approximate $1.5 billion of synergies or $1.4 billion of synergies has allowed us to make the arrangements with our employees that we talked about here today, invested about $450 million a year in our employee benefit -- sorry, employee wages and benefits, and retirement. >> so i'll bet $1.5 billion, almost 500 million will be in improved compensation for employees, somewhere in that neighborhood. and what, how will the other billion, how will it be used? and how will that benefit the traveling public? >> it, i think in many ways, first it will create a more financially sound and stable company. we talked in response to congressman chaffetz questions about the shocks and the difficulties that the airline industry faced over the last decade. first and foremost we will be able to with stand shocks and
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have to deal with the uncertainties and the secretary of the airline industry. the second thing is that will allow us to invest in our airline. we worry talk about the investment we're making in our employees, and as mr. kennedy can talk about in more detail, it allows us to buy new airplanes, to buy new products. and importantly, to have the financial wherewithal to experiment and try different models and add destination star system, knowing that if they don't work we have the financial wherewithal to be a will to deal with it. so it allows us to take the risk and provide, after that, provide benefits to our customers. >> i have noticed that the airlines that generate enough profits to buy new airplanes, more fuel-efficient airplanes, more modern airplanes, do tend to either capture market share or they have, if you have to
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compete with, you're at a disadvantage so i would think you would modernize your fleet come as you say, is a part of the plain? >> at u.s. airways we been modernizing our fleet for the last six or seven years. that's certainly the experience we'vwe have had, mr. chairman. >> customers wrote our -- to many a new modern fleet. not only for the comfort that we offer, and that's a very capital intensive. and ignoring -- enormous expensive. we need those funds to be able to continue to invest in the business along the way. spent an american hasn't been able to make those investments? at least it's become more difficult? >> indeed. the last 10 years it's been very difficult for us and we really struggled financially. we finally made the announcement and aircraft orders done two summers, less than a year and half ago, and that's what's necessary because we had an aging fleet at american.
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and not a fuel-efficient fleet. given the price of oil, that's going to help substantial as well. but nevertheless, it is a significant financial commitment. >> let me ask either one of you, american is a part of the one world system and have some antitrust immunity's. usair is a part of the star alliance. and you do not. with a combination benefit in that regard? >> well, the combination yes, i think it will benefit travelers very extensively. we are a member of the star alliance but we are in some respects sort of second class member of the star alliance. we are not involved in antitrust and joint venture. there's another star alliance partner, united airlines which is very much bigger than us. by moving to the oneworld alliance, first and foremost we take the smallest of lines and make it roughly the same size as the other two. we create opportunities for the
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oneworld partners to serve the east coast of the united states in ways that they have been able to before. they have access to americans have at jfk and the have at miami, but those as we've said our kind of special-purpose hubs that serve us, unique clientele. we have more typical air distribution airline hubs in philadelphia, and charlotte that will benefit one world considerably. so we think it's great. mr. kennedy -- he knows a lot more about the antitrust immunity and that part of the business. >> as you may know, it took us about 13 years to get our deal finished and get the antitrust immunity which is a good thing. we are much more, we were behind the curve compared to the other -- >> and i think it's absently essential that you have got to be able to compete. that's a given to me. i would think it would be a disadvantage for usair not to have it now. and this would be a disadvantage that would level the playing
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field for you. >> yes, we would agree with that. >> my last question, i heard you all say that america flies to 130 cities and that usair doesn't like her i think that was the number, wasn't? >> right speed and u.s. air flies to 62 cities that american doesn't serve. so i would think obviously you're talking a 192 cities that would be, anyone who is a customer of either american or usair would pick up an opportunity to fly on one airline, to 192 cities, which would be a tremendous benefit. >> we look at the opportunities to develop the network after the merger, mr. chairman, those 162 cities -- sorry, 192 cities, are
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the leading candidates for added service. >> and again, i want to close what i tried to start when i complemented mr. kennedy, but usair has shown i think a lot of innovation here at reagan. i notice you're using to gates and you've added probably 30 destinations, 30 or 40 new destinations. you know, all over the east. and you, i think it showed a lot of imagination and how you do that. and as i said, i don't fly american that often, but you know, if i go to dallas i'm not going to go to charlotte first. i'm going to fly american. and so i don't see how that's competition. i'm, i'm going to come if i go to dallas i'm going on american from birmingham. if i can go to d.c., i'm not going to go through dallas.
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but the service, the reliability on usair, the customer service is excellent. on the airplane, the on-time performance, and all the airlines. i heard something about baggage, but my gosh, we've gone to two bags out of a thousand, our late. and that, that used to be five and 10. so it's incredible success there. you know, there was a time when they didn't always, you know, a real chance you didn't get your bag. and for the airlines, they made tremendous -- and i will say this, all the information says that airline tickets have not kept pace with inflation. i me, it's one of the best deals going to i think it's six times less, which is hard to believe
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when that is one of your main expenses. i don't know how you do that, other than investors losing $30 billion. mr. cohen. >> thank you, mr. bachus. mr. mitchell, professor sagers, i just wonder, which is the testament of there are 192 or whatever cities that are served by american and u.s. air exclusively, and that 132 were american, et cetera. and what are the same thing with the delta northwest. delta and northwest are complemented because we don't serve too many routes together. does this kind of sound like some companies got together and cut up the country and determined community and when you look at like a statement that none of them have over 25% and there are four of them, but they're close to 25%, to multiply by four, doesn't that sound like someone is cutting up
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the high? >> very pretty, there's a reason to suggest that they did this on purpose, that they got together and agreed to do this, this sort of lack of competition. i mean, and can be explained to some degree by the lack of a specific number of competitors. it was not a liberal firebrand who first came up with the idea that oligopolies don't compete with each other. it was george stiegler at the university of chicago. when you are a small number of competitors, it is easier, it's easier for them to sort of implicitly agree not to compete vigorously head-to-head. so that six at the weather networks evolve as they are and are rated for issues that also contributed, but i think it's perfectly reasonable to suspect that he contributed to the current lack of overlap, even if there is one, i don't think there is that big of overlap frankly, industries will to expect that it will get worse
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when the our four big ones instead of five. >> mr. mitchell, do you agree or disagree? >> with his statement or -- >> d. have an opinion on whether not there was some type of pillsbury bake off speak with you know, the way the hub system in this country developed over time is long and sordid. but as soon as it reached a certain point, they were market visions going on where you stay out of my hub and i will stay out of your hub. i mean, this has resulted in the regulation before. that is wha why it is so criticy important that if we do go to three systems, three network systems, that we have all the consumer protections in place. with all the transparency in place because this ndc i described earlier is the structure of round which and through which the markets can be clearly clearly divided. and that's going to be a problem far worse than --
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>> would you describe, is getting and it sounds like big brother in a major way, i intend to talk to some of, maybe my staff on the judiciary committee on this but is that legislation you have suggested or proposed or would propose to counter this? >> well, there's one piece of legislation that i think would be a very important consumer protection, and that would be we have this thing called idle preemption where all consumer protections are consolidated at the dot. the states have absolutely no authority here and consumers have no rights at the state level. now, if you put in legislation that allows every single state of its own consumer protection rules, you'll have a big expensive patchwork. however, like the energy industry there's an opportunity to create one set of consumer protections that are enforceable at the state level. that would keep the airlines honest. and as we go down the three
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network carriers, there's more opportunity to be dismissive of customers, and we see it everyday. >> we look forward to working with you on the. wabc us the impact of prior mergers, particularly delta northwest but also united cut middle on consumer quality, consumer choice? has been beneficial or not? >> i think that we had the great recessions is very difficult to understand exactly what went on with pricing. however, i believe that if you look at all the promises to all the expectations, all of the projections and the studies and analyses before this merger is approved, there should be a forensic analysis of the outcomes of those two mergers. that's very, very important. >> dr. winston can you use the great recession as what delta would've cut the memphis hub and 40% even though mr. anderson said it wouldn't. atlanta didn't suffer. why did i to escape the great
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recession? >> obvious reason, traffic, still a lot of traffic. >> they routed from memphis to a letter that was simply do. that wasn't the great recession. that was anderson's decision. >> the country didn't stop flying during the great recession. the country still flew and it was still flying as it normally does in the big hub areas. that's something that is sort of overlooked in this, is that again, most of the travel, you know, 75% of the, it's in large hub routes. new york-l.a., chicago-san francisco, d.c.-new york. you go through those and you have most of the travel unfortunate in this country where you have a lot of competitors and that's where the airlines want to be. i mean, unfortunately, or fortunately, there are other places to go, but it's a much, much smaller part of the system and it's very vulnerable than to changes in what's going on in the macro economy and so on and so forth.
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but atlanta is on the quoted -- landed. memphis, unfortunately it isn't. >> it wasn't because of the great recession. it was because they chose to do for the traffic to all of my colleagues preferred flying through memphis, arkansas, mississippi. now they have to go, they cut out the region around. they eliminated pinnacle airlines from coming into memphis. >> i agree with you but, unfortunately, the airlines have to sort of rude airplanes where they're going to be able to maximize -- >> do you agree that a fortress have come to a legacy airlines created fortress hubs and that fortress hubs can keep other carriers through pricing strategies? >> what keeps airlines out of other hubs are airports is airport policy. exclusive use gates. you want to improve competition in this industry? start looking at airports. it's not the airlines. it's the airports, all right?
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the estimates on the increases in pairs due to exclusive use gates are in the billions of dollars. all right? so for the next hitting can i suggest we explored airport privatization of airports to compete and they continue an awful lot of what's going on in this industry? >> eventually you will want china to own all our airports. we are not selling. mr. kendig, do you plan to keep mr. johnson at -- he will continue to work for the merged airline? >> yeah. 's that i don't know. you want to work at the new airline? >> i absolutely do. >> good, because i don't want to waste ribs on him. >> elvis didn't leave memphis. there will be plenty of people still going to. >> the ceo -- >> we will leave this program to go live to the floor of the u.s. senate. senators gavel in for a period of morning business. later today they may move to the
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nomination of jack lew to be the next treasury secretary. reports also indicate that lawmakers are working off the floor in an agreement to consider a pair of supposed replacement measures. one from democrats and one from republicans. and, of course, those automatic spending cuts are set to go into effect this coming friday. this is live coverage of the u.s. senate here on c-span2. the presiding officer: the senate will come to order. today's prayer will be offered by reverend ronald l derrick, national chaplain of the american hey john.
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the guest chaplain: let us pray. almighty god, thank you for this day. grant us your presence. we stand in a room representing power and authority given by your hand. keep us mindful that one day we shall stand in a greater room and give an accounting of the decisions made this day. therefore, i pray with words that have been spoken down thru the ages that you, o lord, would grant to these leaders of our nation health, peace, concord and stability, that they may administer the government without failure. direct their counsel according to that which is good and well-pleasing in your sight. may it be said of them that they performed the duties of their office faithfully and impartially. bless each individual present here today, for by blessing the individual you have blessed this nation. to you be the glory. in your most holy name i pray. amen. the presiding officer: please join me in reciting the pledge of allegiance to the flag.
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i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. the presiding officer: the clerk will read a communication to the senate. the clerk: washington, d.c february 27, 2013. to the senate: under the provisions of rule 1, paragraph 3, of the standing rules of the senate, i hereby appoint the honorable william m. cowan, a senator from the commonwealth of massachusetts, to perform the duties of the chair. signed: patrick j. leahy, president pro tempore. the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. reid: following leader remarks, the senate will be in a period of morning business. the majority will control the first 30 minutes, the republicans the final 340 minutes. yesterday the finance committee reported the nomination of jacob lew to be treasury secretary. we hope to reach an disagreement to move forward on this
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nomination today. in addition, i filed cloture to proceed to the american family economic protection act. that cloture vote will be tomorrow morning smed i would now yield to my friend from idaho, senator crapo. the presiding officer: the senator from idaho. mr. crapo: thank you, mr. president. thank you, senator reid. i rise today to thank chaplain ronald l derrick for joining us to offer the senate's opening praimplet i am honored to have the privilege of welcoming this idahoan to the united states senate to serve as our guest chaplain. chaplain derrick who is joining us from idaho has devoted many years of service to our community and nation. he served our nation in the u.s. a.m army from 1966 to 168. he radio retired from his idaho job after 23 years as a printer and mail clerk and he is also a former county coroner, griggs county of chamber. in 1987 the american legion he
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canned chaplain derrick as idaho's firefighter of the year. chaplain derrick was ordained to the minute century in 1979 through the solid rock pentacostal church and he continues to serve in various aspects of ministry. reflecting his long spiritual contributions to the community, he was given the high honor to serve as national chaplain of the american legion for the 2012-2013 term. through this position, he performs and oversees services and provides prayers and guidance for the members. as a 40-year member of the american legion, he has a strong connection with his fellow veterans, service members, and the communities he serves. in addition to serving as national chaplain, he has served in a number of other leadership positions in the american legion. truly his devotion to those in his community and his nation has touched the lives of many in civic and spiritual ways.
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he has been married for 45 years his wife who serves at the department of idaho auction ailry chaplain. they have three children, tim, andrew, and dana sue, and nine grandchildren. chaplain derrick, thank you for your dedication and service and the blessing you are bringing to the 123459 today. this congress and our nation have considerable challenges ahead. these challenges require fortitude and understanding. and i join you in praying for our country and greatly value your prayer today and your service. thank you. mr. reid: mr. president? the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. reid: this week speaker boehner made some harsh accusations. i am not going to repeat them here on the senate floor. suffice it to say, he thinks the senate isn't moving quickly enough to avert the so-called sequester. across-the-board cuts will cost 750 americans their jobs unless congress acts and acts quickly. the speaker's charge is really
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weak sauce, mr. president, considering house republicans spent two months refining the art of doing nothing. the allegation is stranger still given that the speaker doesn't even have his own proposal to prevent deep cuts that will strike in two days. in fact, house republicans' entire strategy in congress is to sit on the sidelines. republicans won't work with democrats. republicans have failed to make their own proposals, and convenience refuse to compromise on a balanced plan to avoid harsh austerity measures. democrats, on the other hand, have proposed a balanced solution. a proposal to reduce the deficit by making smart spending cuts, closing wasteful tax loopholes and asking mult imillionaires to pay a little bit more. the is that the will vote this week on a plan, a plan supported by three-quarters of americans and almost 60% of republicans. but once again the republicans are too busy fighting among
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themselves to unite behind a course of action, so they're instead doing nothing. zero. benjamin franklin once said, "a man who achieves makes many mistakes, but he never makes the big of the mistake of all -- nothing doing." close quote. republicans appear poised to make the big of the mistake of all. they are prepared to let the sequester's painful cuts take effect. across the country, air traffic controllecontrollers, f.b.i. agd others will be furloughed. boyce and girls will be kick -- boys and girls will kicked off head start. these cuts will start real quickly. the notices will go off in 90 days cutting off all contractual payments, whoever gets a notice. so, within a matter of weeks, we're going to feel these cuts and feel them really, really painfully.
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mr. president, 70,000 boys and girls will be kicked off head start. thousands of researchers working to cure diseases -- cancer, alzheimer's, and the other dread diseases -- will be laid off. hundreds of thousands of defense department employees will take forced furloughs. a hardship for their families and a threat to national security. make sure everyone understands -- this is not president obama's sequester. 174 house republicans voted for this. 28 republican senators voted for this. 60% of the senators, 75% of the house members -- republicans -- voted for this. congress has the four avoid these self-inflicting wounds. democrats can't do it alone. republicans must do their part. compromise is never easily but surely it is better than doing nothing at all.
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the republican leader is recognized for his comments. mr. mcconnell: mr. president? the presiding officer: the republican leader. mr. mcconnell: for months now, i've been coming to the floor to urge my colleagues on the other side to help us replace the president's sequester proposal. yet here we are just two days to go until the cuts hit, and the democrats that control washington still haven't put forward a serious bipartisan plan -- not the president and not his allies in congress. they prefer to keep it alive as a political issue instead. now less than 48 hours before the clock runs out, all we're offered is a gimmicky tax hike
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that's designed to fail. now, look ... you i hope they're not expecting a round of applause for this particular act of political bravery. is it any wonder the american people are so fed up with washington? look, the american people didn't send us here to play games. they sent us here to solve problems. that means getting spending under control and putting the economy back on track. the american people are clearly tired of the gimmicks. i can't tell you how many letters and e-mails and phone calls i've received about this sequester issue in particular, and the messages my constituents keep sending is simply this: replacing spending cuts that both parties already agreed to and to which the president already signed into law with tax hikes is simply unacceptable.
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one kentuckian from springfield put it this way: hold strong and do not give in to more spending. normal folks must adjust their budgets, so must the government. another constituent said, "it was important to stand firm in the face of the president's endless campaigning. make him keep his balances of a balanced approach," she wrote, "and should means one thing -- cut spending." a woman from bolling green urged me to hold firm against spending and kick the can down the road. hold firm against that -- spending and kicking the can down the road. i've to cut, cut, cut, she said. "the least our government should do is seriously make cuts." and of course she's entirely right. it's absurd to think that the government cannot get by witho a little more than a 2% reduction
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in spending when every working american had to figure out how to make do with 2% less in their paychecks just last month. some have raised concerns about a proposal that would give agency heads more discretion in prioritizing that's cuts. -- in prioritizing these cuts. i understand these concerns but let's be clear about the goal. the goal isn't to hand over congressional authority. it's to make sure these cuts actually happen. and that we don't cut a penny less than we promised the american people we would cut a year and a half ago. look, we know most americans think washington's spending problem should be addressed by cutting spending. so when the president goes off on a campaign for higher taxes instead of working with republicans to replace the sequester with smarter cuts a understand with senate democrats d. and when senate democrats put forward hike tax gimmicks instead of solutions, americans feel like they're not being listened to. and they have listen to be
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upcede. -- to be upset. they sent a divided government here to washington, but they expect it to work. the president may not like the fact. he may wish things were different, but he wasn't elected to work with a congress he wants; he was elected to work with a congress he has. and that means working with both parties to get things done. it means leaving the gimmicks behind and working with us to hammer out a smarter solution to his sequester. republicans have been calling for democrats to work with us on the sequester over and over and over again. we're still ready to work with them to get something responsible passed, but we can't do it alone. the president's party runs washington. it's time they got off the campaign trail and started working with us to govern for a
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chaifnlgchange. mr. president, i yield the floor. the presiding officer: under the previous order, the leadership time is reserved. under the previous order, the senate will be in a period of morning business for one hour with senators permitted to speak therein for up to ten minutes each, with the time equally divided and controlled between the two leaders or their designees, with the majority controlling the first half. ms. mikulski: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from maryland. curl culms. mikulski: mr. presi, today i rise to come to the moore to speak on the impact of sequester on the american people, on their safety, their security, our economy, the way local and state governments can use wise resources and protect their people. mr. president, i know that we've each been assigned ten minutes. i have a robust number of the appropriations committee that want to speak. i ask the chair -- presiding
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officer to let me know when i've used five minutes. if senator landrieu is here, i will then yield to her. the presiding officer: the senator will be so notified. ms. mikulski: i come up here not only as the chair of the entire appropriations committee but as the chair of the subcommittee that funds the commerce department, justice department, and the majority of our science agencies. and i wanted to talk about the impact really on public safety and our future. but you have to know i come with a heavy heart. i note and bring to the attention of my colleagues that a guard was killed in a federal prison on monday. this guard worked at the federal penitentiary in canaan, pennsylvania. he was stabbed and attacked by a
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prisoner with homemade weapons. the entire justice department, the office of prisons, the union people, we all mourn for mr. eric williams' death. and we mourn; we don't know the full extent -- and i will be asking for a report on the investigation on how this happened. but one of the things i do know as the chair of the committee, we face prison overcrowdings. we have federal prisons, some we don't even open because we refuse to put the money in. and you can say, well, senator barb, you're on the committee. why don't you put the money in. well, we're in gridlock, deadlock, hammerlock. we're not being able to move our bills under regular order with due diligence and oversight. that's why we're in this crisis of sequester. oh, boy, can't we just cut 2%
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just like american families? american families don't run prisons. they don't build their own roads. they don't have to put out their own local police department. they depend on their government to do that. they're willing to expend revenue, pay taxes so that they are protected. there are reasons people are in federal prisons. they were bad guys and gals who did bad things. and when they're in prison, they're still going to do bad things, like attack a prison guard. you know what sequester will mean? across-the-board cuts. it will have a direct impact on america's prisons. oh, sure, the prisoners will still have their food. they'll still have their hour to be able to do their exercise. but the prison guards will face furloughs, layoffs and even reductions in the workforce. we're placing them at risk while they protect us from risk. hey, where's our national
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priorities? so one of the ways that we can honor this man here is to get serious about our appropriations process. i want to cancel the sequester and come up with a balanced solution of revenues and strategic targeted cuts, not across-the-board cuts to 1,300 correctional guards that might face layoffs. and i want to also be aware that there are federal prosecutors. we in maryland have some of the best u.s. attorneys going after violent gangs, drug cartels, child predators, mortgage frauds. but we're going to say to those smart lawyers that could make megabucks in law firms, oh, stick with us. but when you do, you could be laid off and furloughed. why is it that the criminals can be able to hire the lawyers but the federal government doesn't want to pay for them? mr. president, priorities. we need to be able to have the
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right law enforcement at federal and state level to catch the bad guys, whether it's white-collar crime, like mortgage fraud, or street crime or despicable things like trafficking in women and children. we have to look out for our f.b.i., our major force in counterterrorism. they face again layoffs. it will go to our local hraurplt. we will be -- local law enforcement. we will be cutting things like the byrne grant which will enable local law enforcement to put cops on the beat. there is a program here that we have a line-item. it's not the biggest thing in the federal budget but it's the biggest thing to cops. why? because it buys bullet-proof vests. the presiding officer: i advise the senator she has consumed 5 minutes. ms. mikulski: i could talk another 55. i could talk another 505.
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but i want everyone to get the point that cuts have consequences. platitudes like why don't we cut the budget like families do, let's do what families do. they, first of all, make plans and stick to them. i think it's time we have a regular order. i want to deal with this sequester now. i want to look at this thing called the continuing resolution so we resolve the funding for fiscal 2013, for fiscal 2014 to work on a bipartisan basis across the aisle and across the dome. let's look at our spending, how we protect the american people and make public investments that help create jobs today and jobs tomorrow. in conclusion, before i turn to my most able subcommittee chair on homeland security, senator landrieu, i just want to say to the family of officer eric williams, the entire senate wishes to express its condolences to the family. and i believe that we show our
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deepest sympathy, is to make sure it doesn't happen in our federal prisons. let's get on and solve the problem of sequester. let's work together and get the job done. mr. president, i yield to senator landrieu, the chair of the subcommittee on homeland security, a really crucial committee. ms. landrieu: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from louisiana. ms. landrieu: thank you, madam chair. i really appreciate, and we all do, all the senators, even senators on the other side of the aisle, i think, admire your tenacity and your leadership. and most importantly, your knowledge and understanding of the importance of the federal budget on the private-sector economy. obviously the senator from maryland understands its impacts on maryland, but she also understands the impacts to our nation. and no one speaks more passionately and more knowledgeably about the challenge before families than
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senator barbara mikulski from maryland, from a working-class family herself. her parents, immigrants, and grandparents to this country operating a small business, a bakery, a wonderful business not only to understand how to run it, their own business themselves, but to all the neighbors that came in every day to talk about their problems. when the senator says she knows what families do in tight budget times, she's correct. families do cut back, but they plan their reductions. they don't pull the rug out from underneath the college tuition for their kids. they don't kick grandma on the street and put her in a homeless shelter. they make smart decisions about budgets. let me say to my colleagues on the other side that fail to understand the other part of the equation, madam chair, they also try to bring in more revenue to the family base. either the wife gets a job or the husband gets a job or the wife goes back to school to get
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a nursing degree so instead of making $6 an hour, she can bring in $16 or $18 an hour. families work on both sides of the equation. but for some reason we have half this chamber that only wants to work on one side of the equation. it's only about cuts, cuts, and more cuts, even though they are senseless, they are dangerous, they do not make sense for our country, and they most certainly don't just impact the government, of course, which is the enemy of the other side; they impact our economy. they impact our ability to grow this economy. and for every cut that comes down in a senseless way, and even cuts that are planned, are harmful to the private sector. i know this not only as a senator from louisiana, as chair of the homeland security committee, but particularly as chair of the small business committee. our phone has been ringing off the hook with small businesses,
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not government workers, but private-sector workers and contractors that are afraid of what -- and have every reason to be -- about the results of this sequester to their bottom line, because they are providing the government a good service or a, you know, a product that the government needs, whether it's in health care, whether it's in education, or whether it's in homeland security. but i digressed a little bit, so let me get back to the central message today as chair of homeland security. i rise today to speak in opposition to the damaging sequester that is scheduled to take effect this friday. there is no question that congress must act to reduce our annual deficits, must continue to act -- let me underline "continue." we have been reducing spending. we have set targets of spending
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lower than what would have normally been set because we are tightening our belts. we are trying to tighten our belts even at a time when the economy was shrinking. and most economists will tell you that in times of economic constriction, governments need to spend more money to try to prime the pump to get the country moving in the right direction. the president has led in this direction. we have helped to follow his lead. therefore, avoiding one of the worst -- worsening of a depression and a recession. but contrary to the evidence all over the place that this is working, the other side is going to rafrpt it down -- going to ratchet it down with these senseless reductions. and even well-planned reductions at this point are very difficult. and rejecting a balanced approach, which democrats have called for, and most independent
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observers understand you've got to have an increase of revenues coming in because we're at the lowest level to the g.d.p. since eisenhower was president, and some continued reductions. but they're rejecting that and going cuts only, cuts only. they're going we raised revenue, we raised $600 billion. we can't go any more. i'm here to tell you we've got to go a little bit more. and the sooner we do that, the better we're going to be. there are people that make over $1 million in this country or companies enjoying loopholes they shouldn't be enjoying at the expense of the middle class and at the expense of the economic growth potential of this country which is substantial, contrary to the laments on the other side of the aisle, that the sky is falling. every businessperson i talked to said, senator, there's such promise out there. this energy industry is getting ready to boom. natural gas is a great blessing
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to our nation. but we may not experience any of that because we can't get five cents to invest in an airport or dredge one of the bayous or rivers in my state because of the tightening down of these spending cuts. the other side of the aisle continues to argue despite the mounting evidence, they continue to argue against any revenues and there are cuts-only approach. cut it all, cut it now, don't worry about what you cut; just cut it. and that is not going to lead this country to economic prosperity. the reality is our deficit reduction so far has been completely lopsided. 72% has come from spending cuts. only 28% from revenues. and that balance has to get -- it's not balance and we have to find a balance. as i said, we've already cut $1.5 trillion from discretionary spending over ten years. in recent years revenues coming
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into the federal government as a percentage of g.d.p., as i said, were at the lowest level since eisenhower. i said 16%. my notes say 15.1%. so let me correct myself. i didn't realize it was that low. i thought it was 16.7%. so while i support cuts and have supported them in the past, and continue to try to find them in my own budget -- $42 billion for homeland security -- we must have a balance. this sequester that is going to go into effect in l.a. will cost us $15.8 million in funding for primary and secondary education. early head start services will be cut to over 1,400 children who desperately need a better start in life. our ability to develop oil and gas will slow down due to interior department cuts. l.a.'s department of defense civilian employees, over 7,000 will be furloughed costing l.a. residents $36 million in gross pay. as chairman of the committee -- and i know you've just got a few
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minutes left -- i implore the senate to consider the impacts of these cuts on securing our homeland. we've made a tremendous amount of progress. we've avoided a tax. and some of them have been very close calls. this is not done because of a wish and a prayer. this is done because of smart research, investing in border security, investing in cybersecurity, investing in training of local police officers that can identify threats on the ground, whether it's in new york or baton rouge or new orleans. we've avoided some attacks. the senator from washington state knows this does just not happen by magic. this happens because we're making investments in people, in their training. this is at risk today. the sequester would affect -- effectively decrease the number of border patrol agents by 5,000. i want to make a statement here and ask for two more minutes. i understand the senator from arizona, senator mccain; and senator north dakota, lindsey
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graham met with the president to talk about immigration reform. i'm glad we may make progress in immigration reform. the country is asking for it. the business community needs it. our agriculture sector needs it and the latin population deserves it. but, madam president, are we going to try to do education reform on a reduced budget in homeland security? what do they expect us to do in a homeland security budget without giving us some additional resources to hire the additional judges that are going to be needed, the additional patrols, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera? so i ask senator mccain, how are we going to be able to afford this in the homeland security budget? i look forward to having that discussion with hivment cybersecurity, the sequester would delay for a year our ability of the department of homeland security to deploy technology to protect our federal computer systems from attack. in the last minute that i have, i want to ask unanimous consent
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to submit to the record a letter that we received this morning from secretary napolitano who's preparing her agency for a very difficult task. i ask to submit this to the record. the presiding officer: without objection. ms. landrieu: and i ask for 30 seconds to complete my remarks. the presiding officer: without objection. ms. landrieu: and last week one of the things, madam president, that i've been very focused on is international travel. i don't have time to go into the details of it is an important industry for our country, not just for louisiana, new orleans, that are way up on the list of places people want to come. roger dowd said, "travel has led the national economic recovery, generating more than 50% of all jobs created since the beginning of the recession. the indiscriminate sequester cuts threaten travel.
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these vie may punish treaferls with longer lines and waits." this is not a time to cut back on investments we've made in increasing travel ten years after 9/11, grounding this industry to a halt. now is not the time to put up a yellow light or a red light. and that is what the swifter is going to do. it is going to be blinking yellow at a time when we need green all the way. this senator willing to compromise and thank you, madam president. i yield the floor. a senator: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from rhode island. mr. reed: i rise today as chairman to highlight the importance of addressing sequestration. these imminent cut cuts cuts wie real impacts on thousands of jobs related to fraction investment, and environmental protection. the reductions required by sequestration will also come on
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top of other deep cuts that these programs have already absorbed over the last two years. even though interior bill programs make up less than 3% of total federal discretionary spending, we've already seen more than $2 billion in cuts to environmental programs over the past two years. and if sequester moves forward, it means an additional $1.6 billion in across-the-board cuts to the interior bill. we have already been forced to take $1 billion out of water infrastructure funding, and under sequestration, e.p.a.'s state clean and drinking water revolving fund programs will lose another $130 million. in addition to potential public health impacts, these cuts will mean 7,000 fewer construction jobs, just at a time we need to put more people to work. and these cuts will be made worse by more than $50 million
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in additional reductions to grants to help states running their environmental agencies, including supporting clean water programs. the consequences will fall squarely on communities, like those in my home state of rhode island, that are already struggling to keep pace with their infrastructure needs. just as we cannot place the burden of our nation's growing financial debt on our children, we cannot place the burden of repairing our failing infrastructure on the next generation also. we have immediate needs that require immediate investment. i'm also concerned about cuts to our nation's land management agency, including the national park service, which is slated for $130 million in cuts. sequestration will affect all 398 of our national parks, from the largest to the smallest. it means fewer seasonal personnel to assist visitors,
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which means fewer jobs. and it also means fewer visitor services, more facility closures, and less upkeep and maintenance unanimous our nation's premiere public lands. these cuts are obviously bad news for the millions of people who visit our national parks every year, but it's worth pointing out that these cuts cue also bad news for local economies that depend on national parks. nationwide, parks support more than 250,000 private jobs and contribute almost $13 billion annually to local economies. even roger williams national memorial in my home state of rhode island attracted nearly 51,000 visitors in 2011, with nonlocal businesses adding more than $3.2 million to the local economy. and the roger williams national memorial is one of the smallest of our national parks. even this small park is a major
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factor in my community. these closures and cutbacks will certainly affect the bottom line of communities across this nation, if fewer families are able to visit and enjoy our federal lands and our national parks. sequestration will also impact programs that generate revenues to the federal government. the interior department oversees onshore and offshore energy development and expects those activities will be slowed dramatically. the trial of the 2010 gulf of mexico oil spill -- and my colleague from louisiana was so effective and so critical to the response of the federal government for her home state of louisiana, the whole gulf coast -- but they're on trial today to allocate liability. it's an important reminder of how critical these activities are to prevent these natural disasters rather than somehow try to recoup losses after the fact of yet the department will
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be forced to if yo furlough emps who conduct lease sales, issuement prosecutes for new development, conduct environmental reviews and inspect operations. that's no way to run a national department of interior. these cuts could result in 300 fewer gas leases in western states and processing delays for the 550 offshore exploration and development plants expected this year. companies may decide that development isn't worth it because of the uncertainty which will lead to less production and smaller royalties for the treasury. in other words, the cuts required by sequestration could actually end up costing the government money rather than saving money and could take away from the developing ability of the united states to become more abc new--to become more and mory development rather than buying et petrochemicals and petroleum
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products from overseas. the sequester is a real problem for environmental problems and throughout nearly all government programs but there are ways to prevent this meat ax approach. indeed, democrats have put forward a specific and clear plan -- half cuts and half revenue -- to rea replace the sequester. we've put a plan forward that puts jobs first by cutting specific wasteful spending and closing dubious tax loopholes. this bill gives the economy more breathing room by offsetting the sequester with smart policy that should be enacted even if there was no threat of sequester. let's be clear what's at stake here. the director of the nonpartisan congressional budget office recently testified that the 2013 sequester would result in
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750,000 lost jobs and .6% reduction in g.d.p. for 2013. lost jobs and lower growth. that's what sequester is going to produce. i don't think the people of rhode island or anyone else in the united states wants the congress to support policies that mean fewer jobs. we have a crisis in rhode island, a jobs crisis, that should be addressed before anything else. now, we hear from the other side of the capitol that we must have a sequester to address the budget. but, madam president, over the last two years, as my colleagues have pointed out, we have slashed the deficit by $2.4 trillion over the next ten years. the bulk of that reduction -- $1.7 trillion -- has come through spending cuts. we have been cutting. indeed, my republican colleagues have repeatedly held the economy mord to cut spending -- in order to cut spending that benefits the vast majority of americans and protects tax cuts that benefit the wealthy few.
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that's not economically efficient, and that's not fair. we see the results. in high home state of rhode island, 10.2% unemployment rate. unacceptably high. 12.3 million americans across the country still unemployed. this republican agenda of protecting the wealthiest and not investing in job creation is out of step with the majority of americans. most americans would prefer right now that we address the crisis of jobs of the and by the way, more people working means we also address the deficit. they pay taxes, they don't qualify for unemployment -- they don't apply for unemployment suspension. that is the smart way and the way we should pursue to deal at least in part with our deficit problems. we should not be jeopardize being our economy. we should not be allowing these
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loopholes to exist that allow mult inational corporations to ship our jobs overseas. we should not be having loopholes that give benefits to oil and gas companies that are recording historic profits. all ultimately at the expense of investing in programs that will put americans to work in the parks, in infrastructure, in sewage systems throughout our country. so more austerity -- and that's what this is all about, especially in the form of these reckless cuts -- will hurt the economy. we should be working to create jobs. and we should also recall that we are here today as the legacy of the republican brinksmanship of threatening to allow the united states for the first time in its history to default on its national debt. that's why we're here. let's not forget that. this was a means a void what would have been a catastrophic default, the first in our history. now we have the opportunity to
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change course, to invest in our people and invest in growth and do it in a balanced way. we can't cut our way to prosperity. the president said that. these contractionary policies will reduce economic growth at a time we need to expand economic growths. not only to give people jobs but to truly address the deficit in a reasonable responsible, reaso. we've come through the threats to default on the debt is. we've come through other proposals. now is a time to have a balanced approach, and i urge that this balanced approach be adopted quickly. mrs. murray: how much time is left on our side? the presiding officer: the majority has two inins remaining. mrs. murray: madam president, i would ask unanimous consent that my full statement be put in
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the record. the presiding officer: without objection. mrs. murray: with that, let me just say that i've come today to join the other appropriations subcommittee chairs to really implore the senate and this country to take a look at what will happen if sequestration occurs. we've heard people talk about job creation being impacted, reducing our economic growths, impacting the most vulnerable among us. in my subcommittee that oversees transportation and housing, we're going to see incredible impacts. house wooing have to put 125,000 tenants at immediate risk of losing their housing vouchers at a time when we are just starting to really focus on our veterans and that growing number of veterans who are on our streets and making an impact across the spectrum. it will se be a huge impact on housing. on the transportation side, every sector will be impactedment we've heard a lot of talk about our u.s. airlines. they carry hundreds of millions of passengers every year.
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it's a huge impact on our economy. our f.a.a. is a world leader in managing air traffic and protecting the safety of our skies. these cuts will force the f.a.a. to literally furlough every single employee and impact our air traffic control and safety system. madam president, it does not have to be this way. the senate majority has put forward a very balanced approach to replace sequester, and in the longer term as budget chair we are working to bring to the senate a ten-year budget plan that will replace sequestration in a responsible way, work us to a manageable debt and deficit crisis, and invest in our country again so we can grow. let's get out of this crisis-by-management mode, pass a eplacement to sequestration in the short-term that we've offered and get back to regular order in the senate. that means our country can get back to managing their families and businesses and their communities in a responsible way. we can do that by voting to put
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in place our replacement. i irk our colleagues to do that -- i urge our colleagues to do that tomorrow morning when we have a chance to vote on that. madam president, before i conclude, i have two unanimous consent request agreements. i ask unanimous consent that the senate road to the immediate consideration of s. res. 58 submitted earlier today. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: s. 58 authorizing the reporting of budget resolutions for the period march 12013 through september 30, 2013. the presiding officer: is there objection to proceeding? without objection. mrs. murray: i ask unanimous consent the resolution be agreed to and the motion to reconsider be made and laid on the table with no intervening action or debate. the presiding officer: without objection. mrs. murray: madam president, i have seven unanimous consent requests for committees to meet during today's session of the senate. they have the approval of the majority and minority leaders. and i ask unanimous consent these requests be agreed to and be printed in the record. the presiding officer: without
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objection. mrs. murray: madam president, with that, i know the republican leaders are on their side ready to discuss this. i hope tomorrow morning we take the responsible step of replacing the sequester and moving back to getting our country back on track. thank you, madam president. i yield the floor. the presiding officer: the senator from texas. mr. cornyn: madam president, i want to start with some numbers that put our budget debate in perspective. or actually our spending budget debate in perspective. since president obama became president of the united states our gross national debt has gone up by 56%. 56%. over the next decade, unless we act responsibly, it's projected to rise by another 57% and reach a staggering $26.1 trillion. i don't know anyone who can actually comprehend numbers that
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big, but that's what it is. by comparison, the sequester, the much-dreaded sequester that's supposed to go into effect on friday which would cut only 2.4% out of the federal spending for this next year, it would authorize $85 billion in cuts for the current fiscal year, which as i said, is only 2.4% of the total federal budget. 2.4%. and yet, the president is now traveling around the country on air force one telling us that a 2.4% spending cut will have a catastrophic effect on our economy and on jobs. and, of course, this part is predictable. the only solution he seems to offer is raising taxes once again. we saw in december during the debate over the fiscal cliff -- and i know the american people
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must be getting nauseous lurching from one financial crisis to another. fiscal cliffs, sequestrations, debt ceiling, government shutdown threats; no wonder the american people are looking at washington and wondering can't you guys get your act together? but the solution is not to just keep on keeping on and spending money we don't have and racking up more debt and deficits. nor is the solution to continue to raise taxes on the very people we're depending upon to invest in new jobs and to grow their current businesses to create jobs and opportunities for middle-class families. now rather than the nightmare scenario the president likes to talk about, republicans and democrats would be happy to give the president and the administration some flexibility in how it implements these 2.4%
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cuts. but unfortunately, that doesn't seem to be yet what the president is looking for. he doesn't want to seem -- he doesn't seem to want to figure out how to manage these cuts, as every family, every small business in america who left with less income coming in the front door would have to do. he doesn't want to seem to manage it. what he wants to do is use this to scare people in order to grow the size of government by raising more taxes. he seems to believe that only washington and only the federal government can revive strong economic growth by steadily raising our levels of taxation and spending. that, madam president, is sheer fantasy. the president either doesn't realize or he doesn't care that federal spending levels are already unsustainable. everybody knows this. this is not a mystery to anyone who's been paying attention.
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for example, a single federal program -- medicare -- which our seniors rely upon to provide them the health care they need has already $37 trillion in unfunded liabilities. again, an astro the senator from mick number that i -- an astro the senator astronomic number that i doubt anybody can fully comprehend. america's total liabilities -- all the promises we made which we have no current ability to pay for, exceed $100 trillion. meanwhile the national debt keeps going up. now it's roughly $16.5 trillion. we are fortunate enough to now see interest rates that we have to pay on that debt at historically low figures, but for each additional point of interest, percentage point of interest that we would have to
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pay, if interest rates were simply to go up to their historic norms would increase the cost of our service on that debt by trillions of dollars. simply put, we cannot spend our way back into prosperity. but there are things the federal government can and should do to boost economic growth. we all understand this. the fact of the matter is the government is not what creates jobs. it's the private sector. it's the small businesses in america. it's the entrepreneurs. it's the people who take a risk to start a new restaurant or open a hardware store. actually those are the ones -- those small businesses are the ones who actually create many more jobs on a percentage basis than do the large fortune 500 companies. well, all we have to do is look around the country, and i know the presiding officer understands this too, we see some parts of the country that
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are growing fast and where jobs are plentiful. and one of those is texas. another one is north dakota. and there are some common elements in our story that i'll talk about in a minute. but for the past eight years chief executive magazine ranked the best states in the country to do business. and i wouldn't have brought it up if it weren't true that the number-one state is the state of texas. just this week forbes ranked the ten best cities for good jobs, and half of them were in texas, including austin, dallas, fort worth, houston, and san antonio. texas has nearly 32% more jobs today than it did in 1995. 32%. over the same period the total number of jobs nationwide increased by only 12%. i would think curious people would wonder why. our state accounts for 8% of the
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u.s. population, but we accounted for almost one-third of all private-sector jobs in high-paying industries between 2002 and 2011. let me say that again so everyone is clear. our state accounts for 8% of the national population, but we accounted for almost one-third of all private-sector job growth in high-paying industries between 2002 and 2011. that's remarkable. well, you might wonder what the secret is. and thank goodness, the states still are the laboratories of democracy where you can demonstrate the policies that actually work rather than trying to mandate from washington, d.c. a one-size-fits-all policy that doesn't work. well, the secret in my state is that we have, for example, no income tax. no state income tax. we're a relatively low-tax state, although people still pay
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sales and property taxes. we have minimal and sensible regulations because we know that not only do taxes depress economic growth; we know a government, either state government, local government or federal government that issues punitive regulations can actually dampen economic growth and job creation. we also have a relatively low level of per capita government spending. people don't come to texas because they want handouts. they come to texas because they want an opportunity to work, to achieve, and to live their dreams. and in the process creating a lot of jobs and opportunity for other people. we are also -- and this is where the presiding officer, i know, can identify with this statement. we are also unapologetic about harvesting our state's abundant oil and gas reserves. indeed, texas oil production increased by 94% between
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september of 2008 and september 2012. shale gas -- that is natural gas produced by hydraulic fracturing and by horizontal drilling which has been around, actually fracking, for roughly 60 years now, and safely done when done properly, not damaging water supply. the shale gas now available due to horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing has produced a shale gas revolution in this country. and the truth of the matter is if we would just get out of the way and sensibly regulate this industry, if we would open up the keystone x.l. pipeline which the president could do but he has not yet done, it would not only create thousands of new jobs, it would create the potential for north american energy independence.
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can you imagine how that would change the geo- politics of the planet where the iranian regime threatening to shut down the strait of hormuz and block 20% of the world's oil supply, that would not have nearly the impact because america -- on us, because america would be north american energy-independent within a decade or so. well, i should also footnote the fact that down in eagleford shale, south of san antonio, where i'm from, and some of the highest unemployed rates in our state previously, because of the eagle ford shale, much like the balkan shale, anybodying who can get a commercial driver's license and pass a drug test can earn a lot of money. as a matter of fact, commercial truck drivers in south texas now can earn over $100,000 a year. and it's hard to find workers.
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they are actually suffering a shortage of workers because of the economic activity caused by natural gas exploration and production. but the president should also reject misguided policies by the federal government that are killing jobs and threatening to put many oil and gas producers and refiners out of business. he should loosen restrictions on federal lands and offshoring drilling. and he should certainly issue more drilling permits. expanding energy production and eliminating harmful regulations would promote job creation and reduce unemployment, just as it has in my state. in a larger sense, embracing this model would help the united states gain much of its economic competitiveness and fiscal credibility that we have recently lost and it would send a clear message that we are serious about rejuvenating our economy and reducing our long-term debt burden. above all, embracing this model
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would show that washington has discovered our founding principles of limited government, individual freedom, and personal responsibility. and, madam president, i will close on this, just to say that i have not heard the president talk recently about 7.9% unemployment in this country. nor have i heard the president talk about the reduced number of people who are actually still looking for jobs, because if people who have lost their jobs were still actively seeking jobs that number would be much higher. not withstanding that, we know from the congressional budget office estimate that the unemployment rate will actually get worse by the end of the year. so this is very urgent, and it's not just about statistics, it's not just about numbers. this is about people hurting because they're out of work and unable to provide for their families. and you would think that this would be a cause that we could all come together on and address to the best of our ability using some of the powerful examples in
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states like north dakota and texas. madam president, i yield the floor. and i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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mr. thune: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from south dakota. mr. thune: madam president, i ask unanimous consent that the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. thune: madam president, we're hearing a lot of discussion here in washington this week and around the country about the so-called sequester, which i think bears some explanation when you talk in terms here in washington oftentimes i think ordinary americans have a hard time understanding the arcane world and the arcane lexicon that we have here in washington, d.c. basically it's these spending cuts, across-the-board cuts, that will take effect at the end of this week fl i. it was a process that was put in place many, many months ago. if you go back to the budget control act which passed in august of 2011, you won't find very many people now who will claim paternity of that idea.
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in fact there is a big debate going around -- a lot of finger-pointing about whose idea this was and whose fault it was that we are where we are. i would simply point out that i think, you know, there were lot of republicans and democrats who voted for the budget control act. so clearly many of us voted in support of that, as a last resort. many of us didn't want that to happen. we wanted to see a deal worked out where we would address what the major problems are with regard to our spending and debt. since that couldn't be negotiated between the president and leadership of congress, we ended up with that process where we had some immediate spending cuts take effect -- about $900 billion with another $is.2 trillion to follow, hopefully achieved through reforms, tax reform, entitlement reform by a so-called supercommittee that met, convened for a while. when they failed to reach a conclusion, it set in motion the -- what we know today as
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sequester. it was billed to go until the 1st of january in which case all of these things would take effect, it nothing happened. when january rolled around, we ended up with that process we now know as sequester. i want to point out, because it is -- you know, the president has been running afrom this. it is like somehow this just imagine gnarl appeared, this idea of sequester. if you go back and look at the origin of this, it was clearly something the president and his people put forward. and a fine point has been put on that by bob woodward in his book and a subsequent op-ed this weekend in which he stated clearly that this was an idea that originated with the white house. and in fact jack lew at his confirmation hearing actually mentioned the fact that when they were looking at something that they could use, a trigger, if you will, that they drew upon the gramm-rudman-hollings agreement that was agreed to back in 1985 by the congress and
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that ink0r9ethatandthat incourta sequester. it came from the white house, it came from the president and his people. the idea of sequester, that's where it originated to. suggest that somehow they didn't have anything to do with it, it isn't their responsibility, is completely contradictory to the facts. and as has been delineated by bob booed war woodward in his b. the point is we have a process that was put in place a long tile ago. we go back to august 2011 when the budget control act was passed to find out why we are where we are today. the other thing that was interesting to me, which i think is now added to the narrative or trying to he sort of reconstruct the history of all this, is the idea that somehow there should have been taxes incorporated in this, that you know, we needed
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to have a "balanced approach" in the questio sequester. that was all on the spending side. if you look at the history of this and you listen actually to, again, the people who are familiar with those discussions -- and bob woodward in his op-ed said, the president is moving the goalpost. the revenues and taxes were not a part of this. but now all of a sudden the white house is insisting upon, we want taxes to be a part of this. well, what's ironic about that is they got taxes. they got a big, fat tax increase on january 1 of this year. that wasn't balanced. there were no spending cuts in that. that was all taxes. $620 billion, the largest tax increase in american history. and so from our perspective, the tax issue has been dealt with. the president got revenues, revenues that weren't contemplated by the sequester in the first place. and yet today he gets up and
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argue that this needs to be a "balanced plan," which it was a euphemism around here for we want more of your tax dollars, more taxpayers' money to come to washington, d.c., we want higher taxes. that is what that essentially -- that message is saying when the president and many of his allies up here on capitol hill say, we want a ballet balanced plan. it -- we want a balanced plan. we want tax increases on top of the $620 billion of new taxes that the president got on january 1 of this year. now, what's interesting to me about this whole process is, it was reported this morning that the president has called a meeting on friday. he wants to convene a meeting on friday to talk about, now, these draconian cuts that are going to go into effect and he has been traveling all over the country picking the most high-profile, highly visible ideas that he can that would suggest that this is going to have just this
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profound, dramatic impact on people around this country. and so now he's coming back to washington -- when? march 1. what is that? it is the day the cuts are designed to go into effect. where has the president been for the last year and a half? madam president, where is the leadership in waiting until the very day that these cuts are supposed to go into effect to say, oh, let's have a meeting to talk about what we might be able to do to avoid the impact of these across-the-board spending reductions? well, march 1 -- okay, here we are, 11th hour, urgenc, once age president sweeps in. this we have known about for a year and a half. this is not a new revelation. we've known this is coming for a very, very long time. the supercommittee failed to produce a result in november of
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2011. so it's almost a year and a half now that we've known the sequester is coming. and in fact last summer we passed legislation in congress that asked the administration to give us some detail and some specificity about where these cuts are going to take place. and we got some vague outline about that. we didn't get any report from the president that enumerated these because i don't think they had gone through the process of trying to figure out what they were going to do with it. so here we are. now, 18 months later at the 11th hour, the president all of a sudden say, well, let's have a meeting and talk about what we might be able t to do to avoid the impact of these across-the-board spending reductions. madam president, where is the leadership in that? why weren't we doing that 12 months ago, 11 months ago, 10 months ago, a month ago, last week? why weren't we talking about this earlier? why do we have to wait until the very last die hav day to have a
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discouring's about this? the president is better at campaigning than he is at governing. because he has been driving all over the country -- i shouldn't say "driving." -- flying all over the country, over 5,000 miles campaign on this issue to try and scare people into believing that an $85 billion across-the-board spending reduction, which represents 2.4% of federal spending this next year, is somehow going to be disastrous for our economy and our country. well, you know, frankly, these -- i'm not in any way diminishing the impact of spending reductions. they will have some impact, for sure. but to go out and say that we're going to have 90-minute lines in the airport, that we're not go to have meat inspectors, all of these things that they are trying to put out there to scare the american people, to dramatize and frankly traumatize the american people about a 2.4%
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reduction in overall federal spending. if you are an average american freddie mac or an american business -- if you are an average american family or an american business, you know that you are going to have a 2.4% -- you have 2.4% t less to work wih next year what do you do? you sit down around your kitchen table and figure out what those things are that you spend money on that you can live out. it is a fairly simple exercise. people are going to pick the low-priority item. they are going to pick the things that they can probably live out. they are noting about to pick the things that they need and rely upon and depend upon. i think most americans could agree that they could find a 2.4% reduction in their annual spending if they had to. that's something that ordinary, averages americans vs to deal with all the time. let's just tighten our belts a
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little bit, figure out how we can get along with 2.4% less spending. we're talking about 2.4% less spending on a $3.6 trillion annual federal budget. now, what does that represent? $85 billion is a lot of money, it is a th lot of money anywher, it is a lot of money in south dakota in the small town i grew up. those are dimensions we didn't even contemplate in most cases. but if you think about it this way: $85 billion, the amount of money that we are asked to reduce in terms of the overall federal spending this next year, is the equiv lint of how much our country -- is the equivalent of how much our country borrows every single month. every 28 days we borrow $85 billion. so every single month we borrow, did he borrow, we put on the
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backs of our backs and grandchildren, as much money as we are asking the federal government -- i should say, the federal government is being asked to live without for an entire year. 2.4% of annual federal spending p. now, to be fair, people are going to say, wait a minute, it is not just 2 bo.4% because it s just affecting a single area of the budget. so much of the budget has been walled off from this. the area where the real federal spending is, where three-fifths to two-thirds of all federal spending is, has essentially for all intents and purposes been protected or insulated from this. there is a small 2% cut that would occur in some of the mandatory areas of the budget, but for all intents and purposes, what really drives federal spending year in and year out, and what's examinin go amount to 90% of all spending years from now, mandatory spend, entitlement programs, that's
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pretty much walled off. so we're shrinking increasingly the discretionary part of the budget which represents a smaller and smaller part of the budget each and every year. but the reality is, it still is 2.3% out of a $3.6 trillion annual budget that we're talking about here. so, madam president, it seems to me at least that all the handwringing that's going on in washington right now and all the drama that the president is trying to create by flying over 5,000 miles across the country campaigning about the inequitiet the effects of this sequester gets lost in what every american has to deal with every single day. sometimes they have to deal with a little bit less and maybe washington, d.c., can figure out how to do that. but you have 0 ask the question, where is the leadership? the president friday, march 1,
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the day this happens, decides to have a meeting. we have known about this for 18 months. the united states senate, under the leadership of the majority, the democrats here in the senate, hasn't passed a budget now for 1,400 days. 1,400 days without a budget. we're going on four years without a budget. we spend $3.5 trillion, $3.6 trillion of the american taxpayers' money every single yeerd and we haven't had a budget that suggests how we're going to spend that now for going on four years. where is the leadership in that? the president of the united states submits a budget, which he will sometime soon -- he maced the deadline already, but we assume that's coming in the next few weeks. but the last couple of years, the budget that he submitted to congress, when it was voted on in the house and senate didn't receive a single vote. now, perhaps not surprising that it didn't receive a republican vote because it had a lot of tax
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increases. but it didn't get a democrat vote. zero, zilch, house or senate. there wasn't a republican or democrat up here that voted for the president's budget. why? because it wasn't serious. the president is not doing anything to meaningfully address out-of-control spending and out-of-control debt. so here we are, the budget control act finally did put in place some spending reductions and now everybody is hyperventilating about what we can do to avoid it how can we turn this off, how can we shut off the sequester? i believe we could do this in a lot better way, a more responsible way when it comes to the spending reductions. we ought to do it in a way that doesn't put a disproportionate burden on the defense budget. national security represents 20% of total federal spending but gets 50% of the cuts under the sequester. that's not the way it ought to happen. i'm all for di for and plans han
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offered for more responsible spending reductions. but that passed the house of representatives. can't pass in the senate. the president h's ha has had no interest in looking at some other alternative. the other alternative he is interested is in one that does the most damage to the economy. that's more taxes. if he gets taxes on this, if he gets taxes to turn off the sequester, like the taxes he got on january 1, it won't be enough because it's never enough. people who believe in big government and believe that the way you solve deficits is to raise taxes are never going to raise enough revenue. if you don't address what is really afflicting our country -- and that is out-of-control spending -- you haven't done anything to solve the problem, which the $620 billion tax increase on january 1
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demonstrated. the amount of money, the amount of revenue generated by that tax increase january 1 will fund the government this year for less than a week. less than a single week. this isn't a revenue problem. this isn't a tax problem. this is a spending problem. and it is time for some leadership, time for the president to quit campaigning, to come back here and to start governing. but here we are, friday, the day it's all set to take effect. we've got a $16 trillion debt. the congressional budget office says in the next ten years will be $6 trillion. we're borrowing 40 cents out of every dollar we spend. revenue is coming into the treasury according to the congressional budget office are going up actually. and by 2015 are going to be 19.1% of our entire economy, which is a percentage point -- more than a percentage point high are than the 40-year historical average.
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revenues are going up and for the next decade according to the congressional budget office, revenues will skpaoed by about a -- exceed historical average. and yet we continue to run $1 trillion deficits as far as the eye can see. we've got to get our spending under control. the republican staff on the joint economic committee put out a study that suggested that if we had revenue growth like we've had, average revenue growth for the past 60 years, if we had that in the past four years that the deficits today would be half of what they are. that's the impact of economic growth. that's why growing at 1.5% to 2% isn't enough. we've got to grow at 3% to 4%, but to grow at 3% to 4% you've got to have policies that promote growth, that allow the economy to expand. you can't keep piling on new taxes and new regulations and making it more difficult and more expensive for people who create jobs in this country to
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create jobs. the economy will continue to grow at a sluggish anemic rate. we'll continue to have these high deficits particularly if we don't get our spending under control. it's about exercising fiscal discipline and responsibility when it comes to our spending. it's about putting policies in place that will promote job creation and growth in this country. that is what it's going to take to get this country back on track. and yet the president's out campaigning around the country, comes back now at the 11th hour, on march 1, and decides to have a meeting at the white house to talk about something we've known was going to happen now for 18 months. 18 months. and we've got the most predictable crisis, according to the simpson-bowles commission, we've ever seen. the spending around debt crisis that is in front of us we've known about for a long time. it's like a slow-moving train wreck out there. you're watching it and know it's going to happen, and yet nobody is doing anything to turn off the engines. it's high time we did that.
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i hope the president will engage. i hope we'll get for the nurse time in -- get for the first time in four years a budget for the united states, a real plan, not a fake plan, not a phony plan, not a plan that has a bunch of tax increases but a plan that actually addresses what drives federal spending and debt on a way that will put us on a more sustainable path and ensure the future generations of americans have a higher standard of living than what previous generations have had. not a lower or less one. that's the path we are headed on today if we don't change course. madam president, i yield the floor. madam president, i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll.
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quorum call:
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mr. baucus: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from montana. mr. baucus: madam president, i ask unanimous consent the proceedings under the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. baucus: i ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to executive session to consider calendar number 26, the nomination of jack lew to be secretary of treasury, with eight hours for debate equally divided in the usual form, that upon the use or yielding back of time tenate proceed to vote without intervening action or debate on the nomination. that the motion to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table with no intervening action or debate; that no further motions be in order; that the president be immediately notified of the senate's action, and the senate then resume legislative session. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection, so ordered. under the previous order, the senate will now proceed to executive session to consider the following nomination which the clerk will report. the clerk: nomination, department of treasury, jacob
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lew to be treasury secretary. the presiding officer: under the previous order there will be eight hours of debate equally divided in the usual form. mr. baucus: madam president, america's first treasury secretary alexander hamilton once said -- and i quote -- "the confidence of the people will easily be gained by a good administration. this is the true touchstone. hamilton's words take on a new prominence today as we test our next treasury secretary to gain the trust of the american people and restore confidence in our nation's economy. 19 of 24 senators in the senate finance committee voted yesterday on a bipartisan basis in favor of jack lews's nomination. senators on both sides of the aisle spoke to his character and to his integrity. he's well qualified to be the
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nation's next treasury secretary and equipped to restore confidence and trust in our economy. that will be his touchstone. i am certainly not alone in supporting mr. lew for the crucial role as the administration's top advisor on economic policy. yesterday's overwhelming support for mr. lew came after one of the most thorough reviews of any candidate for the position. a process that includes hours of interviews with mr. lew, the examination of six years of tax records, and more than 700 questions for the record. in comparison, the committee asked secretary geithner 289 questions, secretary paulson 81 and secretary snow 75 questions. mr. lew has met personally with more than 40 senators since being nominated for treasury secretary last month, answering questions and addressing any concerns.
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throughout the confirmation process, mr. lew has been open and transparent. and as i hope a vote here in the senate will soon show, he has gained the trust and the confidence of many in this chamber. mr. lew has a long and distinguished career focused on public service with experience in both academia and on wall street. most recently he is the white house chief of staff. he has also served as budget director for the office of management and budget in the current administration and under president clinton where i'll note he helped guide our nation through one of the greatest periods of economic growth in america's history. mr. lew has also served in the u.s. department of state as deputy secretary for management and resources. mr. lew has demonstrated time and again that he has the experience and knowledge to help get the nation's economy back on track. we need a strong man at the helm
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to help tackle the many fiscal challenges facing our nation, and i believe jack lew is that man. just two days from now, on march 1, across-the-board budget cuts, known as the sequester, will hit. $85 billion in federal spending will be sliced from thousands of programs, including medicare, rural development and early education. the nonpartisan congressional budget office predicts the cuts will slow the economic recovery and result in another year of sluggish growth and high unemployment. i firmly believe we need to cut our debt and get our fiscal house in order. we know there are places to trim the fat. the american public knows that certainly. but we need to take a scalpel to waste inefficiency and not allow a habgt to cut into american jobs. our economy will be put to the test again in just weeks when the continuing resolution expires on march 27. we face the threat of a
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government shutdown. and on the horizon the federal borrowing limit will be reached in late may. that will require another extension of the debt ceiling. madam president, this is no way to run a country. congress has been lurching from one fiscal showdown to the next leaving the nation with uncertainty. the only way we'll be able to get past these budget battles is by working together. we all know that. we need to start doing it. republicans, democrats, members of the house and the senate need to work together to put in place policies that create more jobs and spark economic growth. it's deeds, not words. we've had enough words about working together. we got to start actually forming the deeds and working together. and we'll lea need to work with mr. lew to put the nation's economies back on track. we have to get off this roller
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coaster of a ride. there's no stability, no certainty going from one fiscal crisis to the next is undermining our economy. to give families and businesses certainty, we must agree on a balanced, comprehensive plan to utah can the debt that includes both revenue and spending cuts. the math will not work any other way. a long-term balanced plan will make real progress toward solving our deficit problem. a balanced plan will also encourage businesses to invest, enable investors to return to the markets with confidence, and mo most importantly put americans back to work in a growing economy. more jobs, more good-paying jobs. we need more certainty, predebilitatpredictability. over the past two years, every
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week we'd get the phone, it was 9:45 on wednesdays and about month a month we'd physically get together. no matter where we were and what we were doing, we'd always try to pick up the phone once a week to check in. it was on the minute, 9:45. neither -- each of us knew the other was going to be there. secretary geithner and i grew to become good friends and reeledly trust each other. our families started to have dinner together, do things together. it is the trust and confidence that is so necessary -- which is necessary to work together to make things happen. the conversations proved invaluable as we worked to overcome numerous economic challenges. i continue the outrage o outreah mr. lew. i am going to keep it up. i know he wants to, too. it is very heartening, frankly. he has been very open and
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receptive and seger to work with all of us, all of us here in the congress to strengthen america's economy. he wants to do a good job and he knows he must talk and communicate with us in order do that. working together will be key to promoting economic growth and stability. now, if confirmed by the senate today, one of mr. lew's first acts as treasury secretary will be affixing his signature to all new federal reserve notes. i'm not sure if people will be able to read his loopy signature. it's been -- it's an inside joke that sometimes people have a hard time reading his handwriting. but i'm -- but anyway his signature will be on the federal reserve notes. that loopy signature is described as looking more like a stretched out slinky than a name. but mr. hugh lou promised the
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president that if confirmed he will work to make at least one letter legible in order not to deface america's currency. we will hold him to that promise. in addition to the signature of america's treasury, the front of every u.s. dollar bill has the seal of the united states treasury. look closely. you will see the symbols of balancing scales that represent justice. there is a chevron containing 13 stars, which represent the 13 original colonies. and underneath thes a key which notes treasury's official authority. if confirmed, we'll be entrusting mr. lew with the authority to oversee america's financial system and economic policy. he will play a critical role in the upcoming debates on spending policies. we will be relying on him to ensure our government and finances are sound.
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we'll be asking him to work with us to return some stability and qualified to our economy. we'll be asking him to work us to ensure the united states remains a great world power in this competitive global economy. it is a great responsibility he has, one in which i believe mr. lew will live up to. madam president, 224 years ago, this body, the united states senate, approved the first cabinet position for this young nation when they unanimously approved alexander hamilton to be the first secretary of the treasury. i ask my colleagues to confirm mr. lew today to th as the natis 76th treasury secretary, so he can get to work and help strengthen our commitment of thank you, madam president. i yield the floor.
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the presiding officer: the nuclear from utah. mr. hatch: madam president, i rise to speak about the nomination of mr. jacob lew lou to be secretary of the treasury. with our growing economy, the next treasury secretary will going to have a lot on his plate. we've worked on the finance committee to vet mr. lew, to examine his background and cree exdids, and provide a complete picture of his qualifications for this post. i would like to offer a few comments about our review process, what we learned and ane reservations about the nominee that remain with me now that this process complete. madam president, met me begin by saying a few words about the process itself. for well over a did, the finance committee has followed a specified procedure when considering executive branch nominations. sadly, that procedure was not followed in the case plaintiff lew. after publicly announcing his
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nomination, the white house waited 26 days before submitting any of his paperwork. that was a an atypically long g- long delay and slowed the vetting process. the nomination hearing wag scheduled to be held only 12 calendar days after the paperwork was received, even though the nominee had not yet answered ology of the questions that were submitted to him. that is simply not the way our process has worked in the past and the undue haste hampered our ability to examine his background and qualifications. once the hearing was completed, as is cuss customary, members submitted written time anonymous administration sources have
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decided -- have decried the very notion that members of the finance committee had the audacity to ask hundreds of questions of mr. lew. madam president, let me be clear. i will vigorously defend the right of any member of congress regardless of party to ask questions of nominees until they are satisfied that they have obtained all the relevant information, and especially in the case of a treasury secretary, which is one of the most important assignments in our government today and always has been. going all the way back to the time of alexander hamilton, and we know what he meant to this country in steak the financial system of this country. and he was secretary of treasury. in the case of mr. lew, there were several reasons why he ended up being asked numerous questions. first, the nomination process, as i mentioned, was abbreviated due to the haste of the
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administration. that meant the questions which in the ordinary course of business could have been resolved through discussion had to be asked in written form. second, due to the general unresponsiveness of the administration to reques requesr information over the last few years, there is a pent-up demand for information. third, mr. lew's responses to many questions have been opaque. he has dessembled often. the only way to get answers to straightforward questions was to continue to ask for clarifications in an attempt to break through the wall of object obfuscation that mr. lew had constructed. he could have answered most of these questions in much less numerical form than he did. even after extensive questioning, there remains several serious concerns with
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mr. lew's background, his lack of responsiveness and the evasive manner in which heanced many questions posed to him. many of these concerns will go unaaddressed as mr. lew seems to be following the stonewalling strategy used by so many officials in this administration, the obama administration. for years now, administration officials have gone out of their their. mr. inouye: to be unre-- -- mr. hatch: for years now administration officials have gone out of their way to be unresponsive. the legitimate inquiries submitted to the executive branch go for months at a time. requested deadlines are disregarded. when responses are given, substantive and direct questions are given meaningless political answers. this has gone on far too long and it has to stop. mr. lew for his part has promised me that he would be responsive to inquiries submitted by members of congress
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and while his answers to questions throughout the confirmation process give me reason to doubt his commitment to being responsive, i intend to hold him to that promise. i believe he is an honorable man. madam president, i would like to take a uminutes to address some additional concerns i have about mr. lew, his background and his qualifications for this post and that has been raised. let's consider mr. lew's citigroup years. he was managing director and chief operating officer of two units -- global wealth management and citigroup alternative wealth investments. mr. lew said that while managing directing and operating those citigroup units he essentially undertook backroom operations like eliminating redundancies and things of that nature.
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mr. lew has stated that he did not design financial products at citigroup or make portfolio decisions or in his words opine on investments. in fact, when asked about investment products that were marketed and sold by the citigroup units that he oversaw, he could not remember any specific details. it has to be noted that some of those investments gentlemen of the jury rated enormous losses for investments. funds called mat, asta, and falcon, which were marketed, sold, and managed by the citigroup units that mr. lew oversaw understanded up being the subject of lawsuits and arbitration claims where success was based -- where success was based on investors convincing arbitrators that the funds were misrepresented and mismanaged by citigroup. the losses to investors from these funds numbered in the billions. in fact, some financial advisors
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at citigroup protested internally that the misrepresented securities caused enormous damage to citi's represent tails of the one of in lew's bosses argued on behalf of investors and against citi's stock price and bottom line by saying that the investors had been wronged and should be made whole. she was subsequently fired. from all information i have seen, mr. lew did not similarly stand up for wronged investors while on wall street. perhaps that is because he did not know what was going on in the firm. -- or at his firm. we don't really know. despite the fact that the funds in question led to probably the largest losses in the history of the units that mr. lew ever saw, mr. lew claims that he cannot recall anything about them. if you ask anyone familiar with the funds and controversies surrounding them, they will tell you that you will have -- that you would have to have been away
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on a deserted island to not have heard about the problems that these funds faced. yet once again mr. lew continues to deny having any memory of them. but at the same time mr. lew claims that while he was at citigroup he learned a lot about financial markets and the dangers of risks. indeed, he cited his experience at cit citi as a qualification r treasury secretary even though he appears to have little recollection about any of the actual details of his work at that time -- or at least the financial details. the question remains, how could mr. lew operate, manage be, and direct units and also be in charge of staffing decisions without having any knowledge of the financial products that were marketed, sold, and managed by these very same units? it remains unclear. had there been a traditional vetting process, perhaps we could have gotten to the bottom of this mystery. as it is, we are only left to
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speculate, as you can see. in addition to mr. lew's lack of knowledge about some of the high-profile failures of the units he was overseeing, there are legitimate concerns relating to his compensation while at citigroup. ongoing january 29, 2009, president obama made remarks about wall street saying institutions were -- quote -- "teetering on collapse and they are asking for taxpayers to help sustain them." unquote. the president also remarked on wall street bonuses at the time saying -- quote -- "that is the height of irresponsibility. it is shameful." unquote. about wall street executives, he said that -- quote -- "there will be a time for them to get bonuses. now is not the time." unquote. elsewhere he referred to wall street bonuses as -- quote -- "obscene." unquote. in late 2008 and early 2009, american taxpayers provided over
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$45 billion -- that's with a "b" -- in direct assistance to citigroup and backed hundreds of billions of citigroup assets. at the same time in january 2009, mr. lew reportedly received over $940,000 of compensation, most of which was a bonus for work performed in 2008 when citi was on the verge of collapse. the bonus came a day before citi yet another infusion of billions of dollars of taxpayer money to prop the company up. that was the day before citigroup received the infusion of billions of dollars that he got that bonus. there is at the very least a contradiction between the president's rhetoric with regard to wall street and his decision to appoint mr. lew to be treasury secretary. however, rather than acknowledging any such contradiction, mr. lew simply
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and repeatedly told us all that his compensation was in line with what other similarly situated executives received. as i've said before, that justification seems a bit like saying "gee, dad, everyone was doing it." unfortunately, that type of reasoning is exactly what led to the financial crisis. in addition to an employment agreement mr. lew had with citigroup had a clause stating his guaranteed incentive and retention award would not be paid upon his exit from citigroup. however, there was an exception indicating that he would receive that compensation -- quote -- "as a result of his acceptance of a full-time high-level position with the united states government or regulatory body." it remains unclear how this exception is consistent with president obama's efforts to, in his own words, close -- quote -- "close the revolving door that
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carries special interest influence in and out of the government." unquote. of course as has been widely reported during the course of our vetting process, we found that while he was at citigroup, mr. lew actively chose to invest in a hedge fund that served as a venture capital-like fund that invested primarily overseas. what mr. lew invested in was based in the cayman islands at the infamous ugland house that democrats decried as a tax haven. in 2008 while campaigning for president, then-senator obama said that the ugland house was -- quote -- "either the biggest building in the world or the biggest tax scam in the world." unquote. throughout the 2012 campaign, president obama repeatedly attacked mitt romney for having funds invested in the caymans. and if i recall it correctly, mitt romney's funds were in a
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trust that he had no control over. in making such investments, governor romney wasn't aware of the obama campaign betting against americans. one can only wonder with if mr. lew supported this line of attack. once again mr. lew has repeatedly refused to acknowledge any contradiction or hypocrisy between the president's rhetoric or his own actions defending himself only by saying that this investment was done legally and transparently. i think the same probably could have been said about governor romney's investment as well, that it was in a blind trust. the contrast between the president's past vilification of certain -l financial activities and individuals and mr. lew's participation in these activities is striking.
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yet we are now essentially being told that people should do as administration officials say, not as they do. in addition to concerns about mr. lew's record, i have serious disagreements with him when it comes to policy. for example, in response to written questions, mr. lew backtracked from the administration's previous position on the need for entitlement reform. at one time commonsense reforms like raising the medicare eligibility age were on the table for the obama administration. such ideas have apparently been discarded by the president, and mr. lew has made it clear that he shares that discarding position. as a social security and medicare trustee, the treasury secretary cannot wish away the problems with our entitlement programs. if he's confirmed -- and i believe he will be -- mr. lew will be tasked with addressing these problems. sadly, it appears he will be
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just another voice in the obama administration against taking meaningful action on entitlements and in favor of higher taxes, a repetitive theme that at least all of us republicans are getting very sick of. and the use of the word "balance," my gosh. madam president, i think i've made my concerns about the lew nomination very clear. that being said, i've always believed that whoever is president, including our current president, who i like, any president really, regardless of party is owed a certain degree of deference when choosing people to work in his administration. though i personally would have chosen a different person for this position i intend to vote for mr. lew's confirmation. my vote in favor of mr. lew comes with no small amount of reservation and i don't fault any of my colleagues for
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choosing to vote against him. indeed, i share many of their same concerns. as i mentioned earlier, mr. lew has promised to be responsive to members of congress in their requests for information. i expect him to be responsive to the senate finance committee and to the convince on the senate finance committee as well as the democrats. he promised to work in a bipartisan marine to address the problems facing our nation. -- bipartisan marine to address the problems facing our nation. i believe mr. lew can, hopefully will do that. my hope is that he does not view these promises as merely boxes checked off on the way to confirmation. madam president, if confirmed, mr. lew will be the secretary of the treasury of the united states and not the secretary of the obama treasury, although indirectly he will be. his first job is to the united
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states of america, and he might have to argue strenuously against some of the administration -- or the white house positions on financial matters and treasury matters. he has to work for all the american people and not simply one political party. if he does those things, i will be willing to work with him all the way. and i have to say i expect him to. i expect him to be the honorable man that he has told me he is and that i believe him to be. otherwise, i couldn't vote for him especially under these circumstances. however, i have to say that if he fails to live up to the promises he's made, if he begins just another obama accolade using his high-powered position in the administration to attack political opponents, i will personally be sorely disappointed. and hurt by it. and if that ends up being the
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case, he will have no greater adversary in the senate. i don't want to be an adversary. i want to help him turn this country around. i want to be an asset to him up here. and i want him to be an asset to our country down there. and up here when he comes up tkpweufpblt. given my reservations and concerns about mr. lew, i hope he and the president take note that i am bending over backwards to display deference to the president's choice of treasury secretary. this choice i hope will not be in vain. i can contrast mr. lew's positions when he worked in the clinton administration. many republicans felt that he was a straight-up guy, and i was one of them. and i've suggested to him that we would like to see that type of a person manage our treasury and tpho that partisan person that we've seen in the last couple of years.
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true, the position he had at the white house was a partisan position, and i make great allowance for that. i personally believe he's a good man. and i also believe that sometimes we can get so caught up in politics that we don't do what we really know we should do. i'm hoping he will. i believe he will. and if he does, he's going to have a lot of support from me. i want to thank my chairman of the committee who has always been very honorable and very straightforward. and i understand a lot of the pressures that he has had throughout this process. having been chairman a number of times myself in the senate with various presidents. so i just want everybody it know that this is an important,
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important position. this is an important human being, and i hope he lives up to all that he has the capacity to live up to. madam president, i yield the floor. the presiding officer: the senator from montana. mr. baucus: madam president, i have two matters. first i ask consent that the following staff of the finance committee be allowed the senate floor for the remainder of the 2013 calendar year: melanie riner, eric hanson, swarta velarupely, anderson heiman, tyler efilsizer, erin chowa, elizabeth karyn and peter sokolov. poeup without objection. mr. baucus: i'd like to take a moment to speak on another topic that is important to me and that
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is our veterans. the veterans jobs caucus organized a day of action today to draw attention to veterans' unemployment. and i'm very proud to help shine a light on it. jobs must be our number-one priority. there's no better place to start than with our veterans. with the war in iraq coming to an end and afghanistan winding down, we have a responsibility to make sure every single one of these men and women returns home to a paycheck, not an unemployment check. i urge my colleagues to join me in declaring war on veterans ' unemployment. let's work together to make sure every american veteran has the good-paying job they deserve. i yield the floor.
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the presiding officer: who yields time? if no one yields time, time will be charged equally to both sides. quorum call:
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U.S. Senate
CSPAN February 27, 2013 9:00am-12:00pm EST


TOPIC FREQUENCY Mr. Lew 43, Us 34, U.s. 23, Washington 23, America 15, Memphis 10, United States 10, Miami 10, Texas 9, Charlotte 8, D.c. 7, Mr. Kennedy 7, Unquote 6, Mrs. Murray 6, Mr. Baucus 6, Usair 6, Idaho 6, Maryland 5, Dallas 5, Louisiana 5
Network CSPAN
Duration 03:00:00
Scanned in San Francisco, CA, USA
Source Comcast Cable
Tuner Channel 17 (141 MHz)
Video Codec mpeg2video
Audio Cocec ac3
Pixel width 704
Pixel height 480

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on 2/27/2013